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Too good to pass up

China has issued official instructions on how to cheer at the Olympic Games – accompanied by illustrations.

A cartoon issued to provide extra guidance on top of the “Olympic cheering practice” sessions that have been held for workers around Beijing for the last year shows a young girl in the approved postures.

In the first frame she is beginning to clap; in the second, doing a thumbs-up gesture; in the third, clapping again; and in the fourth, holding both arms up in the air.

In time, she also chants: “Aoyun! Jia You! Zhongguo! Jia You!” – meaning “Olympics! Add petrol! China! Add petrol!”

“Add petrol!”, the nation’s favourite sporting chant, is more usually translated as “Go, Go!”

The cartoon is the joint product of the Communist Party’s spiritual civilization bureau, the ministry of education, the Beijing Olympics organizing committee, and state television, which has begun showing clips of schoolchildren showing how it is done.

The spiritual civilization’s Beijing branch is responsible for ensuring the city’s citizens, who have always prided themselves on their down-to-earth manners, improve their standards of queuing, cleanliness, public hygiene and general politeness in time for the summer.

Li Ning, president of the Beijing Etiquette Institute, said the chants were flexible – individual athletes could be told to “Jia You,” as could other nations apart from China, to show open-mindedness.

“Go Olympics! Go China! expresses the Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger) Olympic spirit and is in line with general international principles for cheering,” she said. “At the same time it encompasses characteristics of Chinese culture.”

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